Makeup artist Katey Denno shares her all-time favorite natural beauty products.
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Naturally derived makeup still gets a bad rap. While clean, natural skincare has become increasingly efficacious and commonplace, color cosmetics have been slower to take hold. Personally, my skincare routine skews towards the likes of natural brand favorites Tata Harper, de Mamiel, and Pai, but my makeup? Your average Sephora finds. Then, in April, I met celebrity makeup artist (and former social worker) Katey Denno, who’s made a name for herself as the eco-conscious celeb’s go-to. A quick scroll through her Instagram reveals stunning looks for the likes of Mindy Kaling, Cara Delevingne, Amanda Seyfried, and many others.
When Denno first started, the green makeup industry was minuscule, she says, but she researched the long, esoteric names on ingredient labels and the ingredients banned in other countries (in the US, “natural” has no standard, FDA-guided or -approved meaning) and found alternatives. Denno’s case for green makeup is simple: “With every dollar we spend, we cast a vote for the way we think things should be,” she says. “I vote for healthier bodies and a healthier planet, and I know that, with the exception of waterproof makeup, pretty much everything else is ready in the world of green beauty. It’s a no-brainer.”
TWO THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE MAKING THE SWITCH
Natural beauty formulas come with a couple compromises: First, they don’t last for hours and hours (which, Denno says, is a good thing!). “Aside from a few of the lip and cheek stains, there are no indelible green beauty products...yet,” Denno says. This might mean a few extra touch-ups to your concealer or lip color through the day. “It’s more convenient to never have to think about that red lip, but I’d rather err on the side of better, long-term health,” she says.
Secondly, they go bad faster (also a good thing!). Green beauty brands use natural preservatives, “which means shorter shelf lives, which means you’ll need to use up that bottle of foundation within the first two years after opening it, and you won’t be able to leave a lipstick in a purse and rediscover it three years later,” she says. “I liken this to food—I wouldn’t feel good about putting something that’d been sitting around for years on my dinner plate and in my body—it’s the same thing. I always want fresh ingredients on my face too!”
KATEY’S TRIED-AND-TRUE CLEAN MAKEUP SWAPS
Base Makeup: “Typically I’m not a fan of powder foundation, but Jane Iredale’s PurePressed formula is the exception!” Denno says. “This very finely milled, sheer-but-buildable, easy-to-apply and blend and transport (!), full-color shade range is fantastic.” This mineral-based makeup gives a matte finish meant to look like YSBB—that’s ‘your skin, but better,’ of course.